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Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sail a tall ship from Sydney to NZ

RARE OPPORTUNITY TO EXPERIENCE LIFE ON A TALL SHIP SAILING FROM SYDNEY TO NEW ZEALAND

Join the crew and sail this authentic square-rigged sailing ship

From Sydney to Auckland - departs 9th – 23rd November 2009

Ten years ago, the tall ship Søren Larsen set sail from Sydney Harbour to cross the Tasman Sea to Auckland with a professional crew and 22 paying passengers eager to experience for themselves life on-board as a member of the ship's crew.

This journey and the romance and splendour of sailing as our forefathers did will be available again later this year as the ship sails from Sydney via the Bay of Islands to Auckland, the 'city of sails'.

Open to all ages and with no previous experience required, this special cruise will allow passenger's to discover for themselves the magic and the challenges faced by Captain James Cook, by Wallis and by Bougainville, by explorers, sailors, whalers and mariners as they sailed the waters between Sydney and New Zealand and the pacific Islands.

The Søren Larsen – which featured in the BBC TV series 'the Onedin Line' - was the Flagship of the First Fleet Re-enactment Voyage that sailed into Sydney Harbour with the fleet of Tall ships for Australia's 200th birthday in 1988.

On-board facilities include 2 or 4-berth cabins, a well-equipped saloon and galley, shower / bathrooms, inflatable boats, fishing tackle, windsurfer and snorkelling gear.

All-inclusive cost $3630 per person - includes all meals onboard, all excursions and activities, services of professional and experienced sail crew and cook, use of ship's wet-weather gear, inflatable boats and all safety equipment.

The role as Voyage Crew - This is an adventure holiday where the emphasis is placed on your enjoyment. Participation is part of that adventure and you will be taken on as a Voyage Crew, learning 'hands on' from the professional crew about shipboard life. Allowance is made for age and abilities and as part of the ship's watch system you can handle sail, take the helm, join-in and have fun.

Ocean Sailing or Bluewater Voyages you can be expected to stand watch and participate in all the activities of sailing the ship. The objective is to undertake an authentic blue water passage under square rig. You will be introduced to the traditions of tall ship sailing, working as part of a skilled crew within the watch system.

The voyage - on arriving onboard you will be shown your berths, introduced to the crew, and signed on Ship's Articles as Voyage Crew. Much of the first morning will be spent introducing you to the ship and explaining the various routines, safety procedures and equipment and how the watch system works. For those who wish we try to give you a chance to be shown how to haul and rig the sails and climb the masts.

Sailing through Sydney Harbour, one of the world 's great harbours, is a thrilling occasion.

The trip across the Tasman will be an exciting and challenging sail for the first time novice and the experienced sailor. This voyage gives time for a good sailing passage of 1000 miles to the northern tip of New Zealand in the prevailing westerlies. This should take us about a week in reasonable conditions and during the sea passage from Australia the ship is sailing 24-hours a day and as voyage crew you will stand deck watches and work within a normal 4-hours on / 8-hours off watch system. This rotates during the course of the voyage to allow everyone to be on deck during different parts of the day.

There are 13-permanent crew who maintain and sail the ship that are there to assist and help you enjoy your time aboard. Once we drop anchor the deck watch is undertaken by the permanent crew and you the Voyage Crew are free to explore ashore. While on watch the voyage crew are under the care and instruction of the watch officer and two other permanent crew; everyone stands a turn on the helm, takes lookout on bow watch, helps fill in the ship's deck log and help handle the sails as required. The watches on deck will have to work the brigantine rig to best advantage to make the most of the changeable weather. On the longer sea passage there's time for talks about basic navigation, seamanship theory, rope work, history and development of square rigged ships. The timeless routines of the sea and unique beauty and grandeur of the ocean can only really be appreciated by those who have undertaken a blue water passage several days out from land.

Sighting Cape Reinga at the northern tip of North Island will be our first glimpse of New Zealand and soon we shall enter the beautiful Bay of Islands to clear NZ Customs at the tiny fishing village of Opua. A good ocean passage will allow us time to enjoy 'the Bay' including the historic town of Russell and the picturesque Roberton Island. Dolphins usually delight in escorting us to Cape Brett and the Hole in the Rock archway. Once we drop anchor at the Bay of Islands the deck watch is taken by the permanent crew and the Voyage Crew are free to explore ashore. With 4 or 5 nights in hand we make our way south through the Hauraki Gulf, visiting the marine reserve and the Poor Knights islands and perhaps Kawau or Tiri Tiri island before we arrive at our final destination and home-port, Auckland.

Other Pacific journeys are also available including New Caledonia to Sydney or to the Cook Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu

Places are limited – call 1800 331 582 for more details or to make a reservation

www.outdoortravel.com.au
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